Time: 100 mins.
It's not every day that you get what you pay for when you go to the theater. In the case of this comedy sequel, I had hoped for more and got exactly what I expected: a sweetly funny performance wrapped in a second-hand script. The film attempts to broaden the horizons of Elle, a fashion fabulous lawyer, by giving her a cause outside her own pink-colored world. Her quest, to liberate her adopted dog Bruiser's mother from an animal testing facility, is a cause tailor-made for this caring and constantly upbeat character. That Witherspoon makes her crusade on Washington both heartfelt and humorous is a testament to her abilities as an actress. What fails her is the script's lack of depth and her ease in changing the hearts and minds of our government officials. This is a comedy so I didn't mind her unusual methods in turning heads her way. It's their sudden rah-rah attitude towards her that got on my nerves. Senators crying over their childhood pets? Come on; there had to be a smarter way for her to sway votes in her favor. Despite the absolute ridiculousness of this political tale, Witherspoon is so charming and undaunted that you go along for the ride desperate for her to succeed.
King and Field play politicos who have the arrogance and deviousness to stand in her way, both learning hard lessons from their battles with the perky-in-pink animal activist. The message that one person can make a difference if they just believe in themselves is one we should take to heart. Unfortunately, it becomes harder and harder to swallow as the film goes along, since it's practically shoved down one's throat from beginning to end. If it were anyone other than Witherspoon in the lead, this film would have been unbearable. However, her innate style, grace, intelligence and energy rise above the fluff and give us a heroine to cheer for. While this film is no MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, it does trade on similar values of justice, hope and inner resolve in the face of political perfidy. Though BLONDE 2 tackles weightier issues than the original, it never strays into seriousness, providing fans with exactly what they came to see: Elle using her blond ambition to beat the system. Witherspoon's pitch perfect performance is the only surprise here. Watching her turn her cartoon character into a real girl is almost worth the price of admission. A more mature, yet still airy Elle should satisfy fans of the first film, though probably won't win new ones over with its' well-meaning, often silly, girl power gone mad attitude.